NBA offers clarity on tiebreakers with uneven schedule

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA has told teams that playoff seeding will be based on winning percentage, and that any tiebreakers necessary after that will follow the usual procedures.

It was an issue that needed clarity because the 22 teams that will be going to the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, for the planned resumption of the season next month will not have played the same number of games.

The NBA told teams of the plan for utilising tiebreakers in a memo late on Friday. Based on the league plan for the restart, with games starting again in late July, Dallas will end up playing an NBA-high 75 contests. Most others will play between 72 and 74; the low total will be 71, which San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers will finish at if the NBA’s plans for teams to play eight games at the Disney complex before the playoffs begin comes to fruition.

The NBA has not yet revealed how team schedules will be adjusted once play resumes without Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Golden State, Minnesota and New York taking part in the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

In the East, Brooklyn and Orlando are separated by a half-game and the Nets will end up with one less game than the Magic.

In the West, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento and San Antonio are all separated by a half-game in the race for ninth place and potentially a berth in a play-in series.